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Here's hoping it's a miserable Christmas....

Super Amputee Cat

Cyburbian
Messages
2,312
Points
32
...for the big retailors.

Wal-Mart, Target, Kohls, Home Depot...they can all go to Hell.

In this materialistic, consumerism for it's own sake culture of ours, I am getting sick and tired of hearing the media reporting how "bad" Christmas is every year. Gloomy retail sales forecasts always make the news about this time of year and we have to hear about it all the way through January.

But what these reports are based on, more often than not, is the Christmas sales of the big retailers. The ones that are so big, the literally drive the American economic machine and whose profits equate the combined GNPs of two-dozen countries in Subsaharan Africa. Little mention is made of the smaller businesses or ma and pa type operations.

But that's just the tip of the iceberg. The media's obsession with reporting and debating Christmas sales figures - coupled with a barrage of X-Mas ads from the big retailers, has led to American losing sight of what Christmas truly means. This has been going on for years. All they care about it their sales and bottom line, and the more tawdry gifts, and "impulse buys" that can be plugged between now and X-Mas, the better.

Today it's all about who can get the most gifts and spend the most money - with Christmas Eve becoming more like Halloween in its celebration of gluttony. And the big retailers are more than happy to be privy to our indulgencies. Better not spend more money on little Johnny than little Susie, or there will Hell to pay.

So here's hoping that the big retailers, the big malls, the big marketers see a lot of red this Christmas. I hope nobody pays attention to their mind-rotting commercials and a few stomach ulcers for the big marketers and fat cat corporate accountants will be a nice touch as well.
 

BKM

Cyburbian
Messages
6,463
Points
29
Of course, your wishes should include plentiful welfare checks or unemployment insurance programs for those laid off because of the "failed" holiday season. Many of those most affected will be Asian sweat shop workers and underpaid American retail employees-those who can afford unemployment the least.
 
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Super Amputee Cat said:
...

The media's obsession with reporting and debating Christmas sales figures - coupled with a barrage of X-Mas ads from the big retailers, has led to American losing sight of what Christmas truly means.

I had no idea that the media has that much power over Americans.
 

BKM

Cyburbian
Messages
6,463
Points
29
What does Christmas really "mean"-particularly if you are not Christian? Is it an old winter festival adapted by the Catholic Church to preempt pagan remnants? What if you are not even Jewish-so Hannukah is meaninfless? What if you don't have children and your interest in buying and receiving gifts for/from others is limited? What if you are already too fat and you don't want to eat huge hoiliday meals? Maybe its a day to celebrate working class tractor drivers who help the Party meet the latest Five Year Plan?

Bah, humbug. :)
 

Dan

Dear Leader
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
18,808
Points
69
For me, it's not so much that Christmas isn't special because of its overcommercialization. It;s that other holidays have become hyped as well, many serving as vehicles for commercial activity as well. Halloween, Valentine's Day (not a holiday, but still), July 4 ... the anticipation of house events is starting to reach Christmas levels.

Also, holiday sales ... the President's Day, Labor Day, and Memorial Day sales at auto dealerships is practically an institution. How long before we see ...

"I have a dream! ... OF ZERO PERCENT FINANCING AT VINNY GOOMBA FORD IN TONAWANDA! Free at last ... thank God almighty I'm free at last ... OF HIGH INTEREST RATES AND DOWN PAYMENTS! ZERO DOWN, ZERO PERCENT INTEREST AND $199 A MONTH GETS YOU BEHIND THE SEAT OF A NEW CHEVY BLAZER! JOIN THE PARADE DOWN FOR THIS SPECTACULAR MLK SALE! "

"CARPET PRICES ARE TUMBLING DOWN AT CARPET WORLD'S 9-11 SALE! WE"VE GOT TOWERS OF BERBER, AND WE NEED TO BLOW UP THE INVENTORY! (Announcer pushes over two upright rolls of carpet) CHECK OUT THESE PRICES! (Osama Bin Ladin impersonator) At these prices, I can carpet all the caves in Afghanistan! Death to expensive carpet!. LALALALALALALALA! "

Anyhow ... Christmas just means less when other holidays are hyped up to the same level.
 

ludes98

Cyburbian
Messages
1,264
Points
22
I won't deny that the buying season numbers are based on the big chains, but I think that the gluttony (anyone thinking 7 right now?) is envitably important to all retailers small and large. Christmas or the celebration of the birth of Christ for Christians, has faded as the central focus. I think it is still an important time of year to spend with friends and family. A little self reflection is good for the soul too.
 
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If you are a Christian (practicing or not) andChristmas has lost its meaning to you, don't blame the retailers for capitalizing on it and making it one of the biggest shopping seasons around. Blame yourself for getting caught up in the hype and losing your own focus.
 

Super Amputee Cat

Cyburbian
Messages
2,312
Points
32
BKM said:
Of course, your wishes should include plentiful welfare checks or unemployment insurance programs for those laid off because of the "failed" holiday season. Many of those most affected will be Asian sweat shop workers and underpaid American retail employees-those who can afford unemployment the least.

While this may seem like undesireable fallout on the surface, may I submit that if such workers - just like everybody else - spend less themselves, then they wouldn't have to work as much. Sure there would still be unemployment, but it would not be nearly so damaging if they could just get along without spending themselves into oblivioin. The "work to spend" mindset is just a vicious cycle that keeps feeding on itself.

I might add, that because the big retailers just cannibalized jobs from the local economic sector anyway, then failure of those retailers may mean a return of some of those jobs to the local sector. In the long run, this could be a big payoff as more money stays in the local coffers and instead of being funnelled off to some huge out-oftown corporation. Perhaps more tax money could then be spent on upgrading the established but detailing infrastruture, than on yet another new collector road out to some new big box store.

I envision the destruction or marginalization of the big retailers as end to the proliferation of bloated and totally superficial professions, such as fatcat marketers and ad execs as well and those owners of big construction firms that bask in the glory of lavish taxpayer-subsidized, politically connected construction contracts. Only the rich and powerful would be truly hurt by this in the long run for eventually, living wage jobs and skilled trades for local workers or merchants would be created by that vacuum.
 

Miles Ignatius

Cyburbian
Messages
368
Points
12
I'm Thankful, Yet.....

I second the motion; what do those bastards think? We're all waiting with credit cards in hand for the arrival of the next shopping "season" promulgated by the Sunday "bolor supplements" [sorry, I can't use the letter "c"].....to trigger another shopping spree?

On the other hand, I'm thankful that Thanksgiving hasn't been co-opted, except by the grocers, of course. How much of "hard sell" can you go after with turkeys, anyway?

Bon Appetit!
 

mendelman

Unfrozen Caveman Planner
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
14,141
Points
58
Sorry - Way off topic

Miles Ignatius said:
(snip)...."bolor supplements" [sorry, I can't use the letter "c"].....(snip)

hahahahahahahahahahahah.......very nice, haven't seen that MPFC sketch in a while.
 

Chet

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
10,623
Points
34
Planderella said:
If you are a Christian (practicing or not) andChristmas has lost its meaning to you, don't blame the retailers for capitalizing on it and making it one of the biggest shopping seasons around. Blame yourself for getting caught up in the hype and losing your own focus.

AMEN HOT GRITS!

Actually, there are so many other reasons for me to hate the Catholic Church, the commercialism of christmas is about all I enjoy of ity these days.

I say, BRING IT ON. I'm ready to drop some serious coin this year, Wal Mart or not.

SO THERE
 

BKM

Cyburbian
Messages
6,463
Points
29
I feel so....WEIRD being on the side of El Feo and gkmo62 on this issue.

Cat, you are sounding more and more like a religious fanatic.

Only, instead of sinners, you are concerned about the souls of our credit cards. That's fine. Many of us need to be lectured about spending too much, working, to spend, and the like. Still, this is a choice people make, often foolishly. But, in the past, instead of spending time in the malls, people spent time in the bars getting hammered (look at early American history-there was almost a revolution because of a whiskey tax). People will always behave inappropriately. They don't need mass media to tell them to, they just do.

I remain skeptical that, barring a Kunstleresque crash (which may well be coming, but should certainly not be advocated in cheerful fundamentalist tones) your glory days of small local business will be returning. If the big boys collapse, NOBODY will be buying much period.

To a certain extent, as I have certainly posted myself, I wish that wasn't true. I try to buy from local businesses myself whenever possible (it helps that Nugget Market, a six store valley chain, blows away every national supermarket, or that Rasputin Records in Berkeley is so much better than Tower or (now defunct Wherehouse), et. etc. But, in many communities, local meant small, shoddy, high priced, etc. Again, I wish that wasn't true. And, what about the examples of local business I mentikoned above. Rasputins now has four stores. Is it now an evil "big corporation" that should be shunned. Is Nugget Markets politically incorrect because they have expanded beyonfd their home town?
 

Cardinal

Cyburbian
Messages
10,080
Points
34
I'll weigh in on the "anti" side. It is unfortunate that the holiday gets hyped for commercial purposes, that kids are conditioned to think it is a time when they should be showered with gifts, and that people really do spend more than they should. Still, I am not about to wish for a troubled economy. Maybe instead, I would wish for more balanced spending (that would level off seasonal unemployment) and greater levels of individual savings.
 

Big Easy King

Cyburbian
Messages
1,361
Points
23
Super Amputee Cat said:
Today it's all about who can get the most gifts and spend the most money - with Christmas Eve becoming more like Halloween in its celebration of gluttony.

I don't like that the real importance of Christmas "drowns" in the sea of capitalist competition, but it's capitalism that drives this country, on whatever level.
 

otterpop

Cyburbian
Messages
6,655
Points
28
In my efforts to be more of a "glass is half-full" guy, I remind myself that with all the bad stuff about Christmas there is much good.

1) a nice Christmas dinner with the people I love most. Sure I eat with them every day, but a special dinner with them is even better.
2) Giving my wife a nice gift to express to her how much I appreciate her loving me, especially because sometimes I am a jerk.
3) Giving gifts to my little Berserker. Two and a half years old and 40 pounds of trouble. But also a foundation of my joy, laughter and pride. Can't hardly wait for him to tear into his presents and hear him say "oh wow." He cracks me up.
4) seeing the commercial where Santa go down the mountain on the Norelco electric shaver. Loved it since I was a kid.
5) seeing young women dressed up in little elf suits.

I am not a Christian. But I do celebrate the birth of a great man, be he God or philosopher, and I celebrate the message he gave all mankind.
 

SkeLeton

Cyburbian
Messages
4,853
Points
26
Chri$tma$, a commercial day? NO way, man! It's like that world wide! Like I cared about the stupid commercial-religious days.

Merry $-Ma$ to everyone! :p
 

H

Cyburbian
Messages
2,850
Points
24
A few years ago when my brother and I were broke college students we put a $5 cap on each other’s Christmas gifts. This tradition has remained. We have a ton of fun with this and have come up with some pretty creative and unique items. For instance last year he got me a beach paddleball set and I got him a poster of Miss Spears :p.

Christmas is what you make it.

Mainly I just like watching the bowl games with my family. For about 12 years running we even had our own family bowl game…. The Toilet Bowl. It was played at the local elementary school field and even written up in the local paper one year. We have an uncle who has a plumbing supply store and he supplied a toilet for the trophy. The toilet was kept in my grandparent’s attic and each year the score and date was written on a square from the attached TP role. But grandma retired and so did the game.

Time to make new traditions.

Christmas rocks! :)
 

Seabishop

Cyburbian
Messages
3,838
Points
25
I don't want to see our economy crash, but credit is driving lots of holiday spending. No matter how many cd's and shirts you receive you still spend hundreds on other people. I don't have a barrel of cash saved up for Christmas and I've got lots of relatives shopping for my family's gifts right now.

As for the yearly bad news about the big retailers, how much of this is due to on-line shopping and how much is due to independent businesses?
 
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3,690
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27
Seabishop said:
I don't want to see our economy crash, but credit is driving lots of holiday spending.

I think credit is driving lots of all kinds of spending, all year long. What are those crazy reports that say the average American has 14 credit cards and $12,000 in credit card debt? It seems like our whole economy is based upon consumers spending a whole lot more money than they have.

Granted, Rob and I are a bit obsessive about not carrying any balances on our credit card, and have a special savings account that is contributed to bi-weekly, all year, just for christmas shopping, but really, I would say that most people are still paying off christmas purchases in February and March.
 

Chet

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
10,623
Points
34
Downtown said:
I think credit is driving lots of all kinds of spending, all year long. What are those crazy reports that say the average American has 14 credit cards and $12,000 in credit card debt? It seems like our whole economy is based upon consumers spending a whole lot more money than they have.

[gloat along the lines of I dont own a TV ]

I have not had credit cards for over two years. For daily life I have a debit card with a low daily limit, and when I travel I load up a different debit card with a high limit. I have not missed credit cards at all. Living within my means is a beautiful thing.

[/gloat along the lines of I dont own a TV ]
 
Messages
3,690
Points
27
Chet said:
[gloat along the lines of I dont own a TV ]

I have not had credit cards for over two years. For daily life I have a debit card with a low daily limit, and when I travel I load up a different debit card with a high limit. I have not missed credit cards at all. Living within my means is a beautiful thing.

[/gloat along the lines of I dont own a TV ]

[additional gloat]
we charge everything to our credit card, and get between 1-3% back in gasoline. we've NEVER carried a balance and in the last year, gotten more than $500 in free gas. woo!
[/additional gloat]
 

H

Cyburbian
Messages
2,850
Points
24
Downtown said:
[additional gloat]
we charge everything to our credit card, and get between 1-3% back in gasoline. we've NEVER carried a balance and in the last year, gotten more than $500 in free gas. woo!
[/additional gloat]

Ditto. I charge everything on a double sky miles card and then pay it off at the end of the month. Pay nothing in interest and rack up free flights and first class upgrades (along with the varied other promotional benefits they have, like hotel discounts and triple miles).

And when you buy a ticket on your card you get a freak load of miles. :)

We love to travel so this comes in handy for people like my wife and I.
 

El Feo

Cyburbian
Messages
674
Points
19
Downtown said:
What are those crazy reports that say the average American has 14 credit cards and $12,000 in credit card debt?

Well, based on my 1 credit card with no balance EVER, that means at least one person out there has 27 credit cards and $24,000 in debt. Actually, based on this thread, there have to be at least 3 such people.

I'm dubious about the "statistics," to tell the truth.
 
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BKM

Cyburbian
Messages
6,463
Points
29
Not to be confessional, but my bad habits do make up for some of you :(

Although 14 credit cards is a little extreme...
 

donk

Cyburbian
Messages
6,970
Points
30
I can beat you all in the gloat category, I actually owe less on my house than on my single credit card.

And to let you know, my credit card has a very low limit.

I am all over living within my means.
 

nerudite

Cyburbian
Messages
6,544
Points
30
donk said:
I can beat you all in the gloat category, I actually owe less on my house than on my single credit card.

And to let you know, my credit card has a very low limit.

I am all over living within my means.

Yeah, but you have to save money for all those shoes you buy! You metrosexual you. ;)
 

SkeLeton

Cyburbian
Messages
4,853
Points
26
Considering that I don't work, hence I do not have enough money to have a credit card (and if I had I would have made adonation to Cyburbia), but my parent's example is good enough... They only use credit cards to easily pay things, and later they send me to pay up the bill to the bank... :p

I guess I'll never be a guy with lots of credit cards, since I'm a proud member of the CBA (Cheap Bastards Asociation) :p
 
Messages
5,352
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31
Mod Note: I hate to be a Grinch but let's stay on topic about having a miserable Christmas or start a new thread on how crafty you are with credit cards. :)
 

Floridays

Cyburbian
Messages
769
Points
21
So create your OWN traditions, if any. Personally, I am forgoing the Tgiving turkey feast this year and having king crab legs and baked potatoes! And as far as Christmas gifts...I'm only buying for my niece and nephew. My brothers and I have already decided to blow off the gifts, have mom & dad watch the kiddos and go out for dinner & drinks instead! yee haw!
 

SlaveToTheGrind

Cyburbian
Messages
1,490
Points
27
Floridays said:
Personally, I am forgoing the Tgiving turkey feast this year and having king crab legs and baked potatoes!

I'll be there at 10 am. ready to eat!;) I would gladly have crab legs instead of turkey. I'd still have to have the stuffing and cranberry jello salad, however.
 
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